Recall for Great Danes is so highly important. Coming when called is arguably the most important skill you can teach your Great Dane.
We believe that off-leash obedience is a MUST for our giant-breed dogs!
Having off-leash freedom means that your dog will be able to move, explore and exercise without the use of frustrating physical restraints such as long leashes, harnesses and collars.
Does your dog:
- Bolt out of doors
- Jump fences
- Run away
- Ignore you when you say ‘COME!’, often blowing you completely off?
- Make you chase them
- Lunge and pull on a leash
- Have to always be on a long leash
This post is for you. We’re going to show you how to take your Great Dane from running away to being completely OFF LEASH!
RECALL FOR GREAT DANES: BUILD A FOUNDATION
Good recall starts with a good foundation.
- Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog that when you say ‘COME’, good things happen!
- Positive reinforcement means treats, praise, play, fun, games, attention, affection and access to things such as freedom, a car ride or a room they want to be in.
- Practice in a low distraction area such as the living room or backyard.
- Don’t let your dog off-leash until you know you can count on them.
- Never scold your dog for blowing you off; you’ll only teach them to run farther (and faster) away from you next time.
E-COLLARS FOR RECALL
The modern E-Collar is THE most gentle, humane and reliable training tool available. It is not a shock collar and will not hurt your dog. Shock collars are different, and we don’t use those here.
E-Collars work by causing a barely perceptible muscle stimulation that feels like a tickle or a twitch, which is much more gentle than the constant pressure and restrictions offered by a harness or leash.
E-Collar training is one of the most responsible and humane things you can do as the owner of a giant breed dog! Think of it like a walkie-talkie; with it, you’ll be able to communicate even when you are in a noisy environment (the beach) or your dog is far away (on a hiking trail).
We do not stand behind the practice of using cheap shock collars on ‘beep, vibrate or shock’ as an easy-button training method. If you are waving a remote at your dog as a threat so they stop and run away, you’re doing it wrong. The goal is to make your dog WANT to come to you.
RELIABLE RECALL TOOLS FOR GREAT DANES
Quality E-Collars are typically $175 or more. They are waterproof, rugged and use modern technology.
Cheap shock collars from Petsmart and Amazon are not the same and cannot be used for this.
We use and recommend E-Collar Technologies. The Mini-Educator is a perfect simple easy-to-use collar, while the Easy Educator is great if you have multiple dogs.
We recommend using a Mini-Educator, high-value treats and a biothane long leash.
HOW E-COLLARS WORK FOR RECALL
E-Collars work by giving the dog a tactile cue to return to you.
Instead of shouting COME, your dog will feel the sensation and run to you.
In the introduction phase, the dog is taught through positive reinforcement that the neutral muscle stimulation means treats, praise, play and fun. Because they have a positive association with this new sensation, they are enthusiastic and want to learn!
For dogs that are more interested in the environment than coming when called, the stimulation can be used at a higher level. This higher level will get their attention, exactly how you may have to turn your cell phone up, or how somebody may have to shout to get your attention at a loud concert.
We are linking some resources below for you to get started with E-Collar and recall training for your Great Dane! Before you get started, we encourage you to watch as much positive E-Collar content (two trainers we recommend are below) as possible, and work with a modern E-Collar trainer who uses positive methods.
Here is a video of a trainer (Tom Davis, Upstate K-9) using an E-Collar on a client so they can see how ‘shocking’ it is.
Fast forward to 2:52 to see that part of the video, especially if you are new to E-Collars or believe they will hurt!
Teaching recall to a dog using an E-Collar with Tom Davis:
Positive-Balanced Great Dane Trainers
Larry Krohn is an expert on modern E-Collar use. All dog owners should watch his content.
Larry Krohn on Youtube, demonstrating the E-Collar on his daughter:
Larry Krohn’s book, ‘Everything You Need to Know About E-Collar Training’